First Short Story: Cobalt

My usual music skips around the empty halls eventually retreating back to my room. Not another soul hears my trashy music; only the thin walls soak up the sounds. I am alone. C’mon Kate, why not throw a huge party? Dance with boys, laugh at dumb jokes, and drink until you can’t think about this solitary confinement anymore. Haha, silly. Talking to myself sarcastically lifts my spirit. I think I’d die without the comfort of my room. My glass walls let the amber glow seep inside. I can almost feel their dying warmth. The sun is setting, and it paints the sky with violets and streaks of vermilion. Gazing at the sky washes away my worries. Soon, however, the sky will bid farewell. The sun will sleep, and my room will be tinted with an indigo shadow. As the prophecy proclaimed, the cold embrace of the night sky approached my room. Loneliness trickles around my body as I stare at the now dead sky. Hey Kate? I wonder if Mother is coming home tonight.

The lonely embrace does not mean I am completely alone, however. With the absence of the sun, my other friends peek out of their blankets. These stars are my hope. So far away, they seem tiny and insignificant to us on Earth. Even so, they have the energy and perseverance to be seen here. Against all odds and an infinite amount of obstacles, their light manages to pierce the night sky into my glass house. If such a phenomenon exists, surely I can walk another day. Surely, I can live on. With or without support, I must continue. But doesn’t it hurt, Kate? It hurts a lot. Then maybe you should cry for once and let it out? I can’t. I can’t add anymore burdens on Mother. She works so hard; I can’t bother her. Loneliness and pain. Is this what you deserve? I’m not sure. I was only born in unfavorable circumstances. What I make of it should determine who I am. Confidence? Or is it acceptance of your situation? You should know very well how lacking I am in the confidence department, haha. That’s wrong. I can’t know, Kate. I haven’t known in years. I haven’t seen your face, held you in my arms, kissed you, or supported you in years. I’ve been gone, Kate. You need to move on and stop talking to me. Find and love yourself and accept that Jace. Is dead. But it hurts so much. He’s the only one who has ever loved me. He was the only person who brushed away my tear and made me genuinely laugh. In this house, there is only loneliness. It is cold and contains only absolute emptiness. There are no warm embraces nor a single word of affection. Neither from Jace nor Mother. They’ve left me so long ago. I see Mother once a few weeks, and she throws money at me. Not once did she comfort me after Jace left. Not once has she said a single loving word. This oh so beautiful and magnificent house is filled with my disappointment and despair. As I stand staring at the floor from my third story glass window, I wonder if I can leave too. The cold glass kisses my cheek, and I want to sleep for a while longer. I want to dream of the days that were sweet and bright. I just wish… Someone could love me as much as I love the sky.

A tear traces my cheek. The trail is redrawn which has been traveled countless times – countless nights. A lie to myself is already broken. I can’t bother mother if she can’t even see me crying. The difference this time was the glass window supporting my cheek. The tear, confused from the new obstacle, flows toward my lip. My eyes are fixated downward at the soft ground where the tear can’t reach. The sweet release. A cold embrace drifts around my ears. The wind chill was much colder than I anticipated; nonetheless, it doesn’t divert my gaze. A rush. The sweet smell of Jace’s shirt fills my lungs. I turn around and lean my back against the glass. My focus shifts upward once more to the sky. These stars are my lighthouses; their light, my beacons of hope. Yet, they are so far away. These lights that pierce my eyes, are they truly capable of guiding me through my endeavors? A rush of cold wind licks at my neck and face. Soft whispers subtly touch my ears. My music escapes this empty house. A solitary thought rests in my head. This single question. What if, regardless of how improbably small, I am. Wrong?

It is empty here. Black everywhere I turn. I open my eyes and wisps of white float around. Is this my mind? Words expand and rest on the floor. In the center of the newly formed stage there is a stool and spotlight. I dislike being the center of attention, yet the stool is unusually alluring. I take the poor man’s throne and the interrogation begins. A new voice registers in my ears. Familiar yet unknown. I can’t make out the words until I realize it is my own voice, and there are no words being spoken. I’m crying. Why did you do that to us, Kate? We could’ve seen a brighter day, but you were irrational. You didn’t consider anyone else’s feelings. We wanted another chance. I-I’m sorry. This guilt feels heavy in my heart. My vision blurs as tears build up. It hurt so bad; I wanted it all to stop. If you were strong, the pain would have stopped one day. That’s an unfair statement. How are you sure that I could have strived in this world? Faith is something that does not need evidence. If you trusted us instead of those lies, you could’ve seen a beautiful world; instead, you buried us in negativity. Disgusting. You can’t possibly be my thoughts. You have seen my attempts at living. They were pathetic. I got up everyday and talked to fake friends. My smile was plastic. My laugh, a broken record, played over and over for those fake people to feel better about their jokes. You yearned for love, yet you didn’t let anyone try to love you. You were hung up on Jace. You didn’t share with any of your friends, nor did you allow love to come from yourself. If you fought against the tempting lies, you could’ve lived a happier life. It’s too late now. What I have done is a sin. There is no love for a person that has lost hope in themselves. Accept retribution and live on, Kate. What pain has been inflicted on you, you must endure. For a bit longer, continue to take steps forward. Even if you hate yourself, keep your head up high. One day, perhaps not a day in the immediate present, you can learn to not hate yourself, so you can stop blaming yourself for losing Jace and Mother.

My vision is blurred at first. An unfamiliar ceiling hangs above me. With such distortion, it was hard to tell at first. Now, I can clearly see my retribution. The world I took for granted has painted itself shades of gray. The amber glow of the sunset will no longer be for my eyes. For my sins, the world has taken my colors. Although, I guess it is a small price to pay for a second chance of suffering. Perhaps this time, I will keep my head high. This false sense of optimism hides a malicious pressure of hopelessness. My head high, and my heart sinking low. This is indeed a conflicting state of mind. Of course the pain does not subside. It is relentless. Even immediately after waking up, the ground is offering whispers of sweet lies. I think about the guilt I felt during my interrogation. Consequently, the guilt pushes me onward; it protects my ears from the alluring offers from the ground.

Checking out of the hospital was quite a pain. My mother found me comatose on the ground with the back of my skull bashed inwards. Loving Mother dropped me off at the hospital and hasn’t visited since. Although the pain lingers in my heart, the loneliness wraps its tight fingers around my throat, and the gray world laughs at my mistake, I take a step forward on this road. I’ve decided to endure this pain for a moment longer. I’ll keep my head up even with false hope or disgustingly optimistic lies. The only possibilities I see in the future hold torment, but I think I’ll take another step forward regardless. With my head high, a glimpse of the sun catches my eye. Ribbons of gray dance around the sky. I close my eyes, and for a moment, the whispers cease. The heaviness in my heart ever so slightly dissipates as air fills my lungs. For just this moment, I can see the fading violets and streaks of vermilion. A farewell lifts off of my lips. I open my eyes with a solitary tear traversing a well known path on my cheek. The gravel shifts under my foot. I take one step forward in my newly painted world. Goodbye.


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